Tag:C. Trent Rosecrans
Posted on: July 28, 2011 12:07 pm
 

If Blanton returns in 2011, it'll be in bullpen

Joe BlantonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

If Joe Blanton returns to the Phillies this season, it will be out of the bullpen, not as a starter, he told MLB.com's Todd Zolecki.

"I think there's zero percent chance i'll start this year," Blaton said. "There's just not enough time."

Blanton said he may be able to pitch out of the bullpen if all goes well with his return from nerve inflammation in his right elbow. However, surgery is still possible. Blanton will play catch on Thursday.

Blanton hasn't pitched since May 14. He was 1-2 with a 5.50 ERA in six starts this season. He is singed through next season.

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:51 am
 

On Deck: Bonifacio looking for 26

OD

By C. Trent Rosecrans


Follow all games live with CBSSports.com's GameTracker.

Emilio BonifacioBonifacio going for 26: Marlins outfielder Emilio Bonifacio extended his hitting streak to 25 games last night.  Bonfifacio is 4 for 12 in his career against Thursday's starter for the Nationals, John Lannan. That may not matter, though, as Bonifacio has picked up a hit in his final at-bat five times during the streak, including Wednesday night when he singled off Nationals' right-hander Ryan Mattheus in the eighth inning of the team's 7-5 victory over the Nationals.Brad Hand is on the mound for the Marlins after three starts in Triple-A. Hand is 1-3 with a 2.77 ERA in five starts for Florida this season. Marlins at Nationals, 12:35 p.m. ET

Carlos BeltranBeltran in Philly: Not only did the Phillies not win the Carlos Beltran sweepstakes, they'll have to see what they missed out on up close, as Beltran is expected to make his debut tonight against Philadelphia. Beltran is 6 for 19 with a homer in his career against Phillies starter Kyle Kendrick. The Giants are expected to have Tim Lincecum back on the mound today after missing two starts due to sickness. Giants at Phillies, 7:05 p.m. ET

How about playing 9?: The Braves and Pirates went 19 innings on Tuesday and 10 innings Wednesday. The two teams have combined to use 25 relievers in the first two games of the series, so they certainly hope Paul Maholm and Derek Lowe can go long tonight. Maholm is averaging 6 1/3 innings per putting, Lowe is averaging 5 2/3 inning per start. This is nothing new for Atlanta, though, as the Braves have played 22 extra-inning games this season, the most in the majors. Pirates at Braves, 7:10 p.m. ET

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 11:27 am
Edited on: July 28, 2011 11:54 am
 

Weeks won't need surgery, out 3-6 weeks

Rickie Weeks

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Brewers second baseman will be out three to six weeks with a "severe ankle sprain," Brewers assistant general manager Gord Ash told Tom Haudricourt of the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.

Although it's being called a sprain, Ash said there is more to the injury than a simple sprain.

"He has a number of issues in the ankle," Ash said. "I can't get into those things. There are so many moving parts in there. It's tough to put an exact timetable on it."

Weeks will not need surgery, Ash said.

The Brewers had already been talking to the Dodgers about infielder Jamey Carroll, MLB.com's Ken Gurnick reported, but Weeks' injury could intensify those talks (as could the impending non-waiver trade deadline). Gurnick writes the team isn't looking to just dump Carroll's salary, but also insisting on a prospect or prospects in return -- even though the Brewers have no surplus of prospects.

Carroll is hitting .291/.362/.356 for the Dodgers this season, playing shortstop and second base. He has alos played third base and all three outfield spots in his career. He is making $1.8 million this season. 

Milwaukee called up infielder Eric Farris from Triple-A Nashville to take Weeks' spot on the roster. 

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 10:46 am
 

Could MLB return to Montreal?

By C. Trent Rosecrans

The former French-language broadcaster for the Montreal Expos said he's been approached by a business group trying to bring baseball back to Montreal. That news comes off the heels of a report by the Conference Board of Canada that said Montreal could still support Major League Baseball.

The Expos moved to Washington D.C. after the 2004 season, but it certainly wouldn't be the first time a market lost a team and then got another. The Expos' move to D.C. was the third incarnation of MLB in the nation's capital. Kansas City, Seattle and Milwaukee all got second chances at MLB, and then there's the Mets who debuted after the Dodgers and Giants went west.

One huge hurdle would likely be a new ballpark, something the Expos couldn't get.

Still, Rodger Brulotte said there are business groups that have approached him and he's starting to take them seriously, even if he wouldn't name specific names.

"Before doing anything, I told the group to get their business plan together," Brulotte told the Montreal Gazette. "It has to include plans for a stadium, for radio and television rights, for everything, as though they already have the franchise."

It's unlikely baseball would expand anytime soon -- earlier this month in Phoenix commissioner Bud Selig said it's not in the plans -- but the Oakland A's are the team that would be most likely to move. The chances of that, though, are slim. Even with a stronger Canadian dollar, a return to Montreal seems even more unlikely -- much to the chagrin of traveling beat writers across the United States who fondly remember trips to Montreal, if not Olympic Stadium.

Author Jonah Keri, a Montreal native who is working on a book about the Expos, called the report a "non-story" and said there is a "zero percent" chance of baseball ever returning to Montreal. Unfortunately, he's probably correct. 

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Posted on: July 28, 2011 9:53 am
 

Pepper: Pirates' pursuit of Beltran a positive

PNC Park

By C. Trent Rosecrans

Carlos Beltran refused a deal that would send him to the Pirates, but just the fact that I can write that is pretty darn cool. Yep, the Pittsburgh Pirates were seeking a rental player at the deadline from the New York Mets.

Dejan Kovacevic of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review reported the Pirates had made an "aggressive push" to get Beltran and were willing to pick up the $6.5 million left on his contract for this season.

Beltran's now with the defending champs and that's probably the best fit for him, which is the beauty of having a no-trade clause. Instead of finishing the season in Pittsburgh, he'll be in San Francisco, good for Beltran.

But it's also a sign of where the Pirates are and how they're planning on trying to win now. Last year we heard about the Pirates hoarding their luxury tax disbursement, this year we're hearing about them trying to improve.

Is it a new world order? Maybe not, but it is an indication that the Pirates' ownership is behind its team and serious about a winner. It also may end up helping the Pirates, who don't give up young talent and can contend for more years with a player that could develop into something special. Even if Beltran had accepted a trade to Pittsburgh, he wouldn't have stayed.

The Pirates have shown their commitment and that's something that was needed after last year's fiasco.

What to expect in Toronto: The folks at the Hardball Times take a look at what to expect from Colby Rasmus in Toronto. The move from Busch Stadium to the Rogers Center should help his power numbers a little bit, but not as much as it would if he were a right-hander. Meanwhile Rasmus' new manager said he'll play every day, replacing Rajai Davis. [The Globe and Mail]

La Liar?: Rasmus' father, Tony, says Cardinals manager Tony La Russa is incorrect in his assertion that his son was listening to him instead of his coaches. Rasmus said La Russa is "made that stuff up" and bullied general manager John Mozeliak into trading Rasmus for pitching. "Tony would like to have 25 pitchers," Tony Rasmus told the Toronto Sun, "like he thinks he has to put his stamp on every ball game. They had nothing else to trade. I think everyone is better off now." In a TV interview, Colby Rasmus was asked about his relationship with La Russa after the trade and the younger Rasmus said, "I hope he's happy." Tony Rasmus said La Rusa blames Rasmus for leading to Walt Jocketty leaving the Cardinals.

Winner, loser: Jeff Passan of Yahoo! says the two big deals on Wednesday showed the way to make deadline deals and the way not to make deadline deals. Let's just say the defending champs are doing something right, while another team panicked.

Oswalt strong in rehab start: Phillies right-hander Roy Oswalt allowed just one hit in four innings for Triple-A Lehigh Valley on Wednesday. Oswalt said after the start that he would probably need at least one, if not two more rehab starts before he's ready to re-join the Phillies rotation. [Delaware County Times]

Washington wants 'fire': Rangers closer Neftali Feliz can bring the heat, but his manager Ron Washington wants to see more "fire" from him on the mound. Washington said he doesn't see the urgency from his closer. Feliz has blown five saves this season after blowing just three last year. His strikeout rate is also down from a year ago. [MLB.com]

Wily Mo's back: The Mariners -- a team desperate for offense -- has signed outfielder/DH Wily Mo Pena to a minor-league contract on Wednesday. Pena hit five homers in 17 games for the Diamondbacks. Pena is expected to start at Triple-A Tacoma. [MLB.com]

Left is right: It's never a good thing for a pitcher to hear he'll have to undergo surgery to repair a loose capsule and torn labrum in his shoulder, but for Padres' right-hander Dustin Mosley, at least the surgery he'll undergo this offseason will be in his left shoulder. Mosley said he's hurt the shoulder twice this season and one more time earlier in his career, all while batting. Moseley may have to swing one-handed, bat left-handed or just bunt a whole lot more to keep his shoulder from popping out of joint when he swings. [North County Times]

Replay resistance: Dodgers manager Don Mattingly saw the play in Atlanta Tuesday night, but he's still not in favor of expanding replay. Mattingly's two issues -- the time and the human element. My response would be the time could be helped with technology and a dedicated umpire off the field for replay and the human factor isn't as important as the correct call factor. [MLB.com]

Papi's milestone: David Ortiz's grand slam on Wednesday gave him 1,000 career RBI with the Red Sox, just the sixth player to achieve that feat in Boston. He joins Carl Yastrzemski, Ted Williams, Jim Rice, Dwight Evans and Bobby Doerr -- not bad company. [Boston Herald]

Stability behind the plate helps Rangers: Having the same catchers all season -- Yorvit Torrealba and Mike Napoli -- has helped Rangers pitchers. Torrealba has started 71 games behind the plate this season. [Fort Worth Star-Telegram]

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 6:19 pm
Edited on: July 27, 2011 11:40 pm
 

5 prospects to watch at the trade deadline

Yonder AlonsoBy C. Trent Rosecrans

The trade deadline has increasingly become about prospects. A team selling needs to buy its future, and nothing screams future like prospects. Gone are the days that a fan base doesn't even blink at trading a young John Smoltz for Doyle Alexander -- even the buyers value their prospects more than ever now. No team wants to make the mistake the Braves made in 2007 when they sent Neftali Feliz and Elvis Andrus to Texas for a rental like Mark Teixeira.

However, that didn't seem to stop the Giants from taking that chance with right-hander Zach Wheeler, the prospect that triggered Wednesday's trade of Carlos Beltran from New York to San Francisco.

Wheeler, 21, is 7-5 with a 3.99 ERA at high Class A San Jose this season. Wheeler was the Giants' first pick (sixth overall) in the 2009 draft out of a Georgia high school. Baseball America had him rated as the Giants' second-best prospect coming into the season behind Brandon Belt.

Here are some other prospects that may play a large role in whether a deal gets done or not by Sunday.

1. Yonder Alonso, Reds: The Reds raised eyebrows when they drafted Alonso in the first round in 2008 because of Joey Votto -- and that was before Votto had an MVP under his belt. Alonso has been playing left field in the minors, but is truly a first baseman and will have more value there than anywhere. 

The Reds called Alonso up to the big leagues on Tuesday, but he may not want to rent a place in Cincinnati quite yet. Alonso has been mentioned as a potential replacement for Todd Helton at first base for the Rockies if the Rockies pull the trigger on an Ubaldo Jimenez trade.

Alonso was hitting .296/.374/.486 with 12 homers and 56 RBI in 91 games at Triple-A before his call-up. In his first big-league at-bat of the season on Tuesday, Alonso doubled as a pinch hitter. Alonso picked up six hits in 22 games at the end of last season, but appeared mostly as a pinch-hitter with the Reds chasing the pennant and having an MVP in the lineup.

2. Robbie Erlin, Rangers: The left-hander is 5-2 with a 4.32 ERA at Double-A Frisco this season after dominating high Class A in his first nine starts of the season.

Erlin doesn't have overpowering stuff, but is extremely polished for a 20-year old. The Rangers drafted Erlin in the third round in 2009 and gave him over slot money to sign.

Baseball Prospectus' Jason Parks noted that Erlin may not be the best fit for Rangers Ballpark because of his flyball tendancies. He also noted the team's first-rounder in 2011, Kevin Matthews, is similar to Erlin. Erlin's stuff projects much better to a National League team, Parks noted, especially a team like San Diego in a pitcher's park that can help out a flyball pitcher (see Harang, Aaron). And it just so happens, the Padres have exactly what the Rangers need -- bullpen help.

3. Jesus Montero, Yankees: Montero's name isn't quite as hot this year as he was last season when the Yankees were hot in the Cliff Lee sweepstakes and later in talks for Joakim Soria. But make no mistake about it, every team the Yankees call will bring up Montero quickly.

There are questions about where Montero will play in the future -- if he's a catcher, first baseman or DH -- but there are no questions about his bat. Montero, in his second year at Triple-A, has shown a drop in his slugging, but a .291/.350/.444 line with 10 homers and 47 RBI in 80 games is nothing to sneeze at, especially if he can catch.

4. Jonathan Singleton, Phillies: Like Alonso, Singleton is blocked by a superstar at first base. Not only is Ryan Howard an established star, he's also signed through 2016.

The Phillies are reluctant to deal top prospect Domonic Brown, but are open to offers for Singleton because of the Howard factor. Just 19, Singleton is hitting .284/.386/.413 with nine home runs and 47 RBI for high Class A Clearwater. Last season he was the youngest regular in the South Atlantic League and had the third-highest on-base percentage (.393) and fourth-best slugging percentage (.479).

5. Addison Reed, White Sox: Here's an interesting one -- the White Sox are still hanging around the race and with a victory over the Tigers on Wednesday, Chicago is just 3 1/2 games out of first place in the division and 1 1/2 games behind Cleveland for second. The White Sox also upgraded their bullpen on Wednesday, adding Jason Frasor as well as minor leaguer Zach Stewart. Stewart made three starts for the Blue Jays, but has been used both as a starter and a reliever during his professional career.

Reed, a right-handed reliever, throws in the mid-90s and has a very good slider, projecting as a solid reliever and maybe future closer. However, minor-league relievers aren't as highly valued as any other position, meaning the White Sox may not get much for him straight up, but he would be a valuable add-in.

Reed, 22, was a closer for San Diego State behind Stephen Strasburg and has struck out 87 batters in 59 innings this season, pitching in four levels. He's currently at Triple-A Charlotte, where he's made one appearance.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 5:11 pm
 

New Card Jackson to start Friday

Edwin JacksonBy C. Trent Rosecrans

Newly acquired Edwin Jackson will start for the Cardinals on Friday against the Cubs, general manager John Mozeliak told reporters before Wednesday's game agains the Astros, via MLB.com's Matthew Leach.

The Cardinals will bump Kyle Lohse to Saturday.

The GM also noted right-hander Kyle McClellan will move from the rotation to the bullpen. McClellan was 7-6 with a 4.15 ERA in 17 starts this season after appearing in 202 games out of the bullpen from 2008-10, with six saves. McCelland had a 2.27 ERA out of the bullpen last season.

Mozeliak said the Cardinals would be shorthanded against the Astros tonight, but outfielder Corey Patterson will be available.

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Posted on: July 27, 2011 4:56 pm
 

Wednesday afternoon trade rumors

By C. Trent Rosecrans

We actually got the big trades on Wednesday with a three-way deal sending Colby Rasmus to Toronto and Edwin Jackson to St. Louis, as well as the biggest domino of the non-waiver trade deadline falling, as Carlos Beltran will join the Giants on Thursday. But that doesn't mean the rumors stopped, boy oh boy, are they still hot and heavy. Here's our roundup of the morning and early afternoon's rumors:

• One official for a contender told ESPN.com's Jayson Stark that he believes the Rockies will move Ubaldo Jimenez. Apparently there's too much smoke for there not to be fire. The same official told Stark, "You don't do this with your best pitchers unless you're ready to trade him." 

• Even with the Cardinals rebuilding their bullpen in Wednesday's Rasmus deal, they're still talking to the Padres about Heath Bell and Mike Adams, CBSSports.com senior writer Scott Miller tweets.

• The Cubs are apparently interested in dumping two of their higher-priced players, Carlos Zambrano and Alfonso Soriano. Sports Illustrated's Jon Heyman tweeted the Cubs are offering up much of the money left on their contracts. A rival front-office member told Heyman, "They'd have to pay 95 percent." Zambrano is making $17.875 million this season and $18 million next season. He has a $19.25 million vesting option for 2013 that takes effect if he is first or second in the 2011 Cy Young vote (not likely) or is in the top four of the 2012 Cy Young vote and is healthy. He has a full no-trade clause. Soriano is signed through 2014 at $18 million per season. The Cubs are hoping the Yankees bite, Buster Olney of ESPN.com tweets.

• A's general manager Billy Beane tells Susan Slusser of the San Francisco Chronicle that he's not interested in giving away any of the available A's players on the cheap. He said the team isn't looking to dump payroll.

• After Beltran turned down the Indians (or his agent did), Cleveland has moved on and is trying to land Rasmus, B.J. Upton and Hiroki Kuroda, Jeff Passan of Yahoo! tweets. Of course, that was before Rasmus was off the table.

• The Astros say they want a "very top" pitching prospect in return for Hunter Pence, Heyman tweets. He notes with that price tag, most expect Hunter to stay in Houston.

• FoxSports.com's Ken Rosenthal tweets the Braves are now the most interested in Pence, but are also interested in the Padres' Ryan Ludwick.

• The Phillies have done background work on White Sox outfielder Carlos Quentin, Olney tweets. Philadelphia is searching for a bat that would basically replace what Jason Werth did for them last season.

• Rockies outfielder Ryan Spllborghs is a possibility for the Red Sox, Peter Abraham of the Boston Globe writes. He also adds the Twins are listening to offers for right-hander Kevin Slowey.

• The Yankees have asked about Florida's Ricky Nolasco, but was told the team would deal him, Heyman tweeted.

• The chances of the Dodgers trading Andre Ethier are "very slim" FoxSports.com's Jon Paul Morosi reports. But there's a chance as Ethier will be a free agent after 2012.

• The Reds are telling teams catcher Devin Mesoraco and shortstop Billy Hamilton are "untouchable," Rosenthal writes. However, he also notes the Rockies wouldn't require either of those two. If a deal didn't include those, it would take some other big pieces, though. The Reds' system is deep enough to have those pieces, such as Yasmandi Grandal, Yonder Alonso, Travis Wood and Mike Leake.

• Even though the Rays have said James Shields is unavailable, Rosenthal tweets Cincinnati is targeting Sheilds over Ubaldo Jimenez.

• With Rasmus off the table, the Nationals are targeting the Twins' Denard Span and could move closer Drew Storen to get the outfielder, Rosenthal said on MLB Network.

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The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com